First-time homebuyers in Ottawa continue to jump into the housing market, thanks to increasingly optimistic financial forecasts and a relatively resilient local economy, an Ottawa broker owner with Royal LePage Performance Realty said.

“Ottawa ranks number 2 (after Montreal) among Canada’s large cities for affordable real estate,” said Pierre de Varennes.

“Coupled with low lending rates, we saw all types of buyers in the market.”

Released yesterday, a Royal LePage Housing Price Survey and Market Survey Forecast said Ottawa remains a steady market for residential real estate, with year-over-year house price increases expected to rise 2.6 per cent in 2009.

Historically, Ottawa has had a stable housing market, said de Varennes.

“In the past 55 years, the market has witnessed only five years of price degradation, making Ottawa an extraordinary place to invest.”